Peljesac - An Autumn by the Sea - CycleBlaze

August 28, 2018

Peljesac

Today’s ride begins with a short ferry hop to Peljesac, the long mainland peninsula that runs east of Korcula.  Peljesac is nearly an island, connected o the mainland only by a thin strip of land between Ston and Mali Ston at its south end.  Our entire day’s ride is on Peljesac, ending at Ston.

Peljesac makes for a very beautiful but rugged ride.  Its northern end is crowned by Mount Sveti Ilija, which we’ve seen across the water from Korcula.  The mountain is the crest of the long limestone ridge that forms the spine of the island.  Today’s ride follows the highway south as it climbs the ridge, drops into a central trough filled with vineyards and wine stores, and then climbs out again before finally dropping to the sea.

It’s a continuously beautiful ride, and reasonably quiet after leaving the outskirts of Orebic.  There’s no shoulder, and I’d say that some of the drivers we see here aren’t the best, so at times it’s not the most relaxing ride.  And, it’s hot and humid.  Those quibbles aside though, it’s a great ride with one splendid view after another all day long.

An attractive way to start the morning - with a cafe latte on the Korčula waterfront
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Mount Sveti Ilia, at elevation 3,150’ the highest peak on the Peljesac peninsula, seen from Korcula. Rachael and I climbed this on our first visit to Korcula, and it remains one of the most memorable hikes we’ve taken. I’d love to climb this again, but I’d never make it back down on my own.
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Looking back at Korčula town from the ferry to Orebić
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A colorful hawser, on the ferry to Orebić
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Orebić And Mount Sveti Ilija
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Korčula, from the beach front at Orebić
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An array of color and texture, Orebić
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Looking back at Mount Sveti Ilija as we climb south on the Peljesac peninsula.
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Looking across the strait to the island of Korčula
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Peljesac, with its rocky spine running much of its length, makes for a challenging ride.
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I don’t remember biking anywhere where the grape vines grow out over the shoulder of the road like this.
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The monument to fallen fighters and victims of fascism, who died in Ustaše concentration camps.
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From the monument, looking south to the descent ahead of us
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The next ascent
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Janjina
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I think these are black winged stilts, part of a group of about thirty wading in the salt flats by Luka Dubrovachka. Right environment, right season, but listed as critically endangered in Croatia so I’m not sure.
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The bay south of Janjina was filled with these small floats. I showed this photo to the owner of or restaurant, and he told us it’s an oyster farm. The floats hold ropes that hang beneath them, which the oysters grow on.
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The entire ride south from Orebić is beautiful, but this descent through the vineyards north of Ston was the best.
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The Peljesac peninsula is an important wine region. We’ve probably passed fifty roadside wine outlets today.
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Vineyards climb up the limestone ridges that form the island.
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We’ll drop down to this beautiful bay just west of Ston tomorrow to catch the ferry to Mljet.
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We finally roll in to Ston at about four, feeling hot, sweaty and ready for a cool shower.  First though we have to stop and take in the spectacle of its walls, one of the great fortification systems of the old world.  We knew they were here, but still it is startl8ng to see them climb up the ridge above the town.  We’ll get a longer look at them tomorrow and talk about them then.

Ston is a small place, quiet, lovely to walk around.  It has a much different feel from either Dubrovnik or Korcula, both of which are famous destinations that draw the crowds.  We another great meal, sitting at an outdoor table in perfect, shirt sleeve conditions - we’re going to be very spoiled by the time it starts getting too cold to dine outdoors in the evening.  As we eat, the restaurant owner comes by to chat, then after hearing we’re from Oregon he sits down for an extended visit.  He tells us a bit of the story of his life, which included 17 years as a merchant seaman, running freighters filled with sunflower seeds up the pacific coast from Argentina to Longview, Washington.  He’s full of information about the town, and has run this restaurant for twenty years.  He hopes to pass it on to his son (who has been our waiter) before long.

We comment to him on how refreshingly quiet and peaceful it is here in Ston, but he said it’s just because we’re out of high season now.  Just a week or two ago the crowds were still crazy.  He assures us that we have arrived at exactly the right time and will be seeing Croatia at its best.

The entrance to Ston, and it’s famous walls.
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I was pretty tired when we reached our room, and now I see why. How long have I been carrying this freeloader, anyway?
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Bill ShaneyfeltLooks like a tree cricket. I poked around the internet and think maybe it might be an Italian tree cricket.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oecanthus_pellucens
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3 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltAn Italian cricket! I’ll bet he was hoping for a ride back to his home. Good thing I spotted him before hauling him all the way to Trieste! For some reason this brings to mind that fine old song: Poor little robin walk-in, walk-in, walk-in to Missouri; he can’t afford to fly.
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3 months ago
The walls of Ston were built over four centuries, beginning in the fourteenth century. Connecting Ston and Mali Ston, they are the second longest fortified walls in the world, after the Great Wall of China.
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She’s missing the show.
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Engaging in a favorite activity
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In Ston
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Restaurant row, Ston
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In Ston
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In Ston
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Ride stats today: 37 miles, 3,400’; for the tour: 70 miles, 5,600’

Today's ride: 36 miles (58 km)
Total: 71 miles (114 km)

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